Show me the Fantasy Money

Money makes the world go around, or at least it can buy books, shoes and a second-hand truck. Long before recorded time, money didn’t exist, and folks bartered: I’ll give you a basket of strawberries for a loaf of bread.

Life was good. Everyone produced something to either use themselves or to trade for things they couldn’t make.

Fast forward a couple thousand years and people don’t have to produce anything if they don’t want to. They can sell their time for money, which they use to buy things. With money comes inflation because those with the most money control its worth. Instead of paying 25 cents for a loaf of bread, we now pay $2.50 or more.

When writing a fantasy novel, money doesn’t always come into play, but sometimes we are stuck with talking about it in a minor way. Loggie is a character in Dragons in the Dungeon. He’s a bard. Sometimes he plays his rebec at taverns for tips. He talks about money.

I could use today’s coinage in my story, but my characters wouldn’t recognise the Bluenose on the dime. I could make up a system, but why would I when one is readily available and makes complete sense. It was created by the makers of the Dungeons and Dragons game. Its value might not be the same, but that factor is up to me.

The Money System

It’s quite simple and follows the tens system. The copper coin is the lowest coin, which matches our penny, which is now out of circulation. Ten copper coins equals a silver piece. Kinda like a dime.

Ten silver pieces equals a gold coin, kinda like our loonie. There’s also a 50 cent piece known as the electrum piece. These are fairly rare since not many were made.

Ten gold coins equals a platinum piece. These are rare because inflation hasn’t hit my fantasy world. Folks can buy a loaf of bread for a copper piece, buy an entire meal for two copper pieces and rent a room for four copper pieces. Bartering still takes place.

So while I love my Sir Robert Borden bills, he’s not going to show up in Dragons in the Dungeon.


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